A lot of people seem to be confused about how to earn grooming certification. When groomers say that they have been “certified by [the name of their grooming school],” this does not mean that they have board certification. In fact, most grooming schools don’t have the power to certify professional pet groomers; instead, groomers in training have to voluntarily earn certification formal associations like the National Dog Groomers Association of America (NDGAA).

Completing Grooming School

When students graduate from pet grooming school, they leave with a degree after having completed the school’s program. While this is not the same as board certification, it is more than enough to get a job as a groomer since grooming schools always teach material that meets grooming certification standards. Once you earn a diploma from grooming school, you are free to either pursue a career from there. However, it is strongly recommended that you undergo further training to earn board certification at an organization like the NDGAA. This will give you an edge when entering the grooming industry and makes an appealing addition to your resume.

Earning Certification Through the NDGAA

A lot of pet groomers opt to gain certification through the NDGAA after completing grooming school. This association is especially well-known for its insightful seminars and skill testing that covers professional pet grooming in depth. By undergoing additional training at the NDGAA, you can earn board certification to boost your presence in the field.

Generally speaking, NDGAA training involves a lot of lectures, detailed instructions and hands-on grooming demonstrations by seasoned professionals. Training through the NDGAA is a tedious and time-consuming process with no guarantee that you’ll walk out with board certification. Toward the end of your training, you are given two major exams to determine your qualification for board certification. If you fail either one, you will not be granted board certification, but you will still have your school certification.

NDGAA Exams for Board Certification

The first exam is a written one that tests all that you’ve learned in your time studying pet grooming. This exam might include the things you’ve learned through the NDGAA as well as what you’ve learned in grooming school.

The second exam is a performance test that allows you and other aspiring pet groomers to display your talents to the NDGAA board of certifiers. You are expected to show a deep understanding and capability of grooming techniques for the different breed categories you are tested on. Usually, there are four: short-legged terriers, long-legged terriers, sporting dogs, and non-sporting dogs.

If you choose to train at the NDGAA for board certification, just remember that the course work and professional grooming exams are exceptionally challenging. By passing, you earn official board certification on top of your school certification. This makes for an impressive addition to your resume and gives you an edge entering the industry, but it doesn’t necessarily have to stop here. With both schooling and board certification, you have the potential to earn the highest honor possible in the grooming industry: the title of National Certified Master Groomer.

Becoming a National Certified Master Groomer

The NDGAA offers two types of grooming certification. The first is “National Certified Groomer” (NCG certification) and the second is “National Certified Master Groomer” (NCMG certification). As the name suggests, NCMG certification holds more prestige and is more coveted among aspiring groomers than NCG certification. As previously mentioned, you must complete formal training at NDGAA before going on to earn the title of National Certified Master Groomer. For this level of certification, you must pass more difficult written exams and also impress the board during your grooming demonstration. Being a National Certified Master Groomer gives you countless opportunities in the grooming industry and also grants you official membership to the NDGAA. This means that you have access to more networking opportunities and association conferences while you build your career.

Merryfield Highly Recommends Pursuing NCMG Grooming Certification

Merryfield Academy offers a curriculum for aspiring pet groomers that meets NDGAA standards, making it easy for our students to pursue board certification once they graduate from our program. We strongly encourage all of our graduates to earn board certification in order to equip themselves for the best and most prosperous career path possible. If you have any questions about our course curriculum or about any of the information provided above, please call one of our representatives at 954-771-4030.

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